“The bots are coming.”
This sort of line has been popular among marketers over the past couple of years.
But is that reality finally coming to fruition? At this point, are chatbots really here to stay?
Based on industry data and what we’ve seen firsthand at Sprout, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
While chatbots for marketing were once seen as uncharted territory, more and more brands are getting on board with bots.
As noted in our guide to 2019’s social media trends, the need for conversational commerce is growing.
With over half of consumers seeking customer service through social media, today’s social bots can address such concerns around-the-clock. Chatbots are projected to save businesses billions by 2022 by streamlining customer service and bot-based commerce.
And if you think that bots are too “cold” or impersonal for your customer-base, think again. In fact, 69% of consumers prefer communicating with chatbots because they offer speedy answers and solutions.
11 effective chatbot marketing examples
Let’s get real, though.
There’s a huge difference between a bot answering “yes” or “no” questions and a bot that provides meaningful experiences.
And so the positive impact of chatbots really hinges on the quality of a brand’s bot.
This begs the question: what makes a “good” chatbot, anyway?
Hey, we’re glad you asked!
We’ve put together a list of chatbot marketing examples that not only shows practical uses of bots in action but also highlights the diverse range of businesses rolling out bots. Check out how these brands are killin’ it with bots and what your business can learn from them.
1. Hello Fresh
Let’s start with Hello Fresh, one of our favorite chatbot marketing examples because it ticks all the boxes of what a bot should do.
For starters, their Messenger chatbot is self-aware.
No, not-self aware like the Terminator. Self-aware in the sense of the Hello Fresh immediately present their chatbot in a friendly way rather than trying to play off their bot as a customer service rep.
Listen: your customers are smart. They know when they’re talking to a bot and when they’re not. Hello Fresh manages to show off their brand voice and playfully introduce their bot from the word “go.”
Also, note that Hello Fresh provides a variety of prompts to help guide the conversation from point A to point B. The bot suggests questions, likely based on the most common questions their in-person reps receive.
As you’ll see with most of our chatbot marketing examples, most bots try to stay away from totally open-ended messages that could result in errors. Remember: bots should make for better user experience, not a more complicated one.
In addition to answering questions, the bot also has a built-in social selling component by offering bot-exclusive discount codes. Expect for these sorts of offers to become increasingly common as brands look for more incentives to encourage people to interact with their bots.
Note that their discount codes are bot-specific (FRESHBOT25 and BOOZYBOT), which makes it easier for the brand to track and assess the ROI of their bots.
2. Universal Studios
Universal Studios is unique among our chatbot marketing examples in the sense that they’re primarily selling an experience rather than a physical product.
Like Hello Fresh’s bot, Universal’s bot playfully acknowledges its powers and notes that users can fetch a flesh-and-blood rep at any time.
Beyond booking reservations and buying tickets, guests can rely on the Universal bot to provide practical information while at one of their parks. For example, the bot can tell you where the nearest restroom or restaurants are based on the last ride you went on.
Perhaps most notable is the bot’s ability to inform guests of ride wait times in real-time. Rather than rely on a third-party app, guests can see within Messenger whether they should expect long lines or adjust their plan of attack for what to ride next.
This sort of real-time information on demand is exactly what makes chatbots so valuable.
Plum is chatbot-exclusive service rather for Facebook Messenger than a business using a bot.
In other words, they are a bot.
What’s notable about Plum is their onboarding process. The conversation with Plum is entirely prompted, giving the customer a choice to sign-up or learn more information in smaller “chunks.”
This might not seem like great UX, but it’s actually one of the better chatbot marketing strategies out there.
How so? The interactivity of Plum’s bot certainly beats a boring wall of text or a traditional Q&A.
Also, the bot’s casual tone, emojis and conversational calls-to-action keep the reader naturally scrolling and tapping rather than feeling like they’re being sold to. This is a prime example of how to funnel a customer through a conversation to eventually lead them to take action.
4. Domino’s Pizza
With the rise of social selling and mobile shopping, brands are constantly scrambling for ways they can score more sales from their social channels.
And hey, chatbots can make it happen.
For example, the Domino’s chatbot allows users to customize and order pizzas just like they would online. The ability to save and repeat orders makes it a cinch to score your favorite pie without having to leave Facebook.
This is arguably one of the best chatbot marketing examples for highlighting how a bot can take something done via mobile and make it just as good (if not better) on social. Although digital ordering is nothing new, ordering through a chatbot requires no native downloads or sign-ups on an app.
5. Arsenal FC
As noted earlier, chatbots are fair game for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
That includes superstar sports teams.
English soccer powerhouse Arsenal FC shows us how bots can be used for breaking news and timely content delivery. For example, their bots send out score reports for users who can’t watch their matches in real-time.
The bot also provides users with upcoming fixtures, team line-ups and news articles. Arsenal’s bot drives home the fact that chatbots can be about so much more than customer service.
6. Patrón Tequila
Patrón’s chatbot manages to combine customer service and content delivery, all the while totally nailing their brand voice.
To kick things off, they introduce their “Bot Tenders” to serve up a variety of cocktail suggestions to users.
The bot then provides a recommendation based on your preferences. Looking for something to pair with bunch? Dinner? This is a fantastic example of effective marketing personalization in action.
But what’s truly noteworthy for Patrón among our other chatbot examples is how the brand aligns their bot with their user-generated content strategy.
After hooking you up with a recipe, the bot then invites you to share your creation on social with their #SimplyPerfect hashtag. This is a simple, low-hanging strategy to encourage more UGC among your satisfied customers.
Sephora’s is easily one of the most documented and lauded chatbot marketing examples.
And yeah, there’s a reason for that.
The bot acts as a sort of digital concierge, allowing users to take a variety of actions without having to leave Messenger.
Want to browse products? Book an appointment? Try on makeup using augmented reality technology?
Yep, you can do all of that and then some. Sephora’s bot captures how brands can use various chatbot marketing strategies to create a compelling experience.
Also, Sephora illustrates how a digital chatbot can drive brick-and-mortar sales. For example, the bot is capable of letting you know where products and bookings are available based on your location.
Here’s some food for thought: not all chatbots have to be complicated.
Adobe’s bot is relatively simple and straightforward but does exactly what it needs to do.
In short, the bot acts as a sort of knowledge base where users can ask questions and troubleshoot common product errors. Users are then guided toward a solution based on specific prompts.
Based on the users’ issue, the bot presents the option of speaking with a human or checking out a more detailed troubleshooting page on-site.
Brands shouldn’t pressure themselves into building mindblowing bots. If all you need are simple queries to serve your customers, you’re golden.
GoPro’s is known for stunning visual content on social media and their chatbot doesn’t disappoint in that department.
To kick off the conversation, the bot introduces itself and suggests a few actions such as shopping for cameras.
The bot then asks some questions to help you find the ideal camera based on your needs.
Unlike any of our other chatbot marketing examples, GoPro goes the extra mile sprinkling .gifs and social video into throughout responses. This not only helps catch one’s eye during a conversation but serves as social proof to sell their products.
This combination of personalization and imagery provides is yet another example of bots creating compelling experiences for users.
Evernote illustrates a simple way to use chatbots for marketing that smaller businesses can learn from.
Simply put, the bot acts as a sort of “one-pager” for customer concerns. The bot encourages people to contact their Twitter support team in addition to their community forms or email support.
While the experience is less elaborate, this quick overview highlights all of their key service touchpoints. Plus, it illustrates that marketers have to pick and choose their battle. Evernote successfully uses their chatbot to encourage their best form of service. As long as you’re getting customers what they need, your bot is doing its job.
11. Sprout Social
Last but not least, we think that our own chatbot is pretty rad!
We provide a prompt-heavy bot to provide customer service with exactly what they need.
Customer support? Account issues? Features and pricing plans? It’s all there and just a tap or two away.
And list most bots, we provide our customers with the option to speak directly to one of the lovely humans on our support team.
What’s much cooler than our own bot is Sprout’s chatbot builder, though.
Despite popular belief, you don’t need to be a technical wizard or programmer to get started with social bots. In fact, Sprout’s bot builder provides a variety of pre-built bot templates that make the process even easier.
Need a customer care bot? Lead bot? Shopping bot? It’s all there and then some.
Based on your business’ needs, you can put together actions and workflows that also show off your brand’s personality.
Whether it’s a few simple queries or something more complex, we can help you build an awesome experience for your customers.
Are you on board with chatbots for marketing?
Although chatbots might have been seen as little more than a novelty in the past, times are quickly changing.
More specifically, our customers are changing.
The speedy service offered by bots is exactly what people crave in the era of instant gratification. Rather than let customer concerns or potential sales fall by the wayside, social chatbots can pick up the slack and keep your business “open” around the clock.
If you want to learn more about what bots can do for your business, we definitely recommend you check out Sprout’s ultimate guide to chatbots.
And if you’re interested in building your own bot, watch the video below to see how Sprout can help.